Are you thinking about applying for social security disability benefits? Or maybe you already applied and didn’t get approved. Either way, you may wonder how transferable skills affect your application. In fact, a question clients often ask is how to prove their skills are non-transferable.

This article will explain how transferable skills impact your ability to apply for social security disability benefits. It will also provide tips on how to maximize your chances of receiving these benefits.

How Do Transferable Skills Affect My Social Security Disability Claim?

What exactly is a skill?

A skill is defined as the knowledge of a task that requires judgment and is attained through job performance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies the different skill levels of jobs as unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled. These classifications are generally determined by how long it takes to learn the work and what that particular job requires.

What does transferable skill mean?

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Once the Social Security Administration determines the skill level of your past work they will use that to provide you with other jobs you might be able to do that meet the same (or lower) level of skill. This is what they mean by transferable.

Some examples of transferable skills are supervising or managing others, teaching, filing, clerical work, researching, technical work, and training. When determining whether a person has transferable skills, it will depend on if their impairments or disabilities affect their ability to perform those skills. If it does, then their skills will not be transferable. However, if it does not affect an individual’s ability to perform, then the skills can be considered transferable.

Why are skills important in a social security disability claim?

The SSA uses skills when determining if someone is disabled. They look at the type of work you did before becoming disabled and compare it to the types of work available in the national economy. If there are no jobs available that match your previous work, then the SSA will determine if you have transferable skills. If so, then they will consider using them to find another job that matches your abilities.

If you don’t have any transferable skills, then the SSA won’t even consider looking for another job for you. Instead, they will only pay you based on your current limitations.

What if my claim gets denied because my skills are transferable?

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If this happens, you should contact an attorney right away. You need to make sure that your skills are truly non-transferable. If they aren’t, then you could be out of luck. Your attorney will help you figure out which skills are transferable and which ones aren’t. Then, he/she will help you show the SSA why your skills are non-transferable. 

Proving at your hearing that your skills are non-transferable may be essential, especially if you need to challenge the vocational expert’s opinion. An attorney who understands the transferability of skills under the Social Security Administration rulings and regulations can help with the cross-examination process during the hearing.

Don’t risk having your claim rejected. Work with an experienced attorney who will make sure it’s done right. Give Oxner + Permar a call for a free consultation.